Wedding Wednesday Revisited

Some twelve or so months ago, I wrote a post about the Richardson family Honiton Lace wedding veil.  As part of the post I included a copy of the only image I had found amongst the family treasures of my grandmother Dorothy Una Ophelia (Richardson) Stockfeld.

Posting this image has resulted in some wondrous happenings – firstly it connected me with a hitherto unknown second cousin. That connection has resulted in some profitable exchanges of information, pictures and stories, new friends on Facebook and, just last month, the chance to meet with said cousin and one of her sisters.

Whilst they were here, we worked through the information I had collected on the maternal side of our family, we exchanged more information, we explored the area where their grandfather (my great uncle) was killed in air crash in 1945, we ate a great deal and talked for hours.

After they had gone home, I started back at work on the latest units of study in the UTAS Diploma of Family History.  One of those units covers images – so back to the box of photos I was steadily working through archiving, scanning, identifying and storing.

Yesterday I found a negative – just floating about loose in the jumble.  A quick look as I held it up to the light revealed what looked like three figures suspiciously like a wedding party. This morning, with some help from the resident tech expert, the image was revealed.

Dorothy Una Ophelia Richardson (centre) Others unknown, photographer Stewart Tompkins (sp?) Camberwell 1926
Dorothy Una Ophelia Richardson (centre) Others unknown, photographer Stuart Tompkins  Camberwell 1926

What a delightful surprise it was to find another part of the story of my Gran’s wedding day.  Now the challenge is to identify the two young ladies accompanying her on her special day.  It is possible they are two of Gran’s Dixon cousins as she grew up with a great tribe of girls around her.

Perhaps one of these ladies, seen here with my Grandmother some 55 years after the wedding, might be one of those fresh faced girls?

Dorothy (far right) circa 1985
Dorothy (far right) circa 1985 with her Dixon cousins, Surrey Hills Vic

Wedding Wednesday

One of the benefits of attending events like AFFHO Congress2015, is the opportunity to view all sort of new products (and some old favourites, too) that are tailored to the needs of that captive conference audience.

At a conference all about family history, heraldry and genealogy you would expect books, companies offering research platforms and services, organisations especially those featuring specific areas of investigation and skills and  new software packages.

Congress2015 featured two organisations offering specialist conservation and storage products for old documents and ephemera and they were high on my agenda as “must visits” as I was seeking a more suitable and sustainable storage solution for one particular family heirloom as well as a couple of other antique textile pieces.

dorothy_richardson_wedding web

This is my Grandmother on her wedding day in July 1926.  She married at St Paul’s Church of England in Canterbury, Vic., not far from her home.  The veil she wore had traveled a great deal further than the mile or so between her home and that church, for it had come from the UK as one of the treasured items accompanying Lucy Jane Dixon nee Banks when she and her family ventured south.

Whether it had been part of the family collection before Lucy’s own marriage at age 18 in 1857 is unknown but it has seen service on many an occasion since its arrival in Australia. It is Honiton Lace – a large square piece of handmade lace that in the past has been attached to a fine layer of bridal veil tulle to support it.

The veil had formed part of a collection of items Lucy bought firstly to New Zealand and then to Australia where they have remained.  There is a family christening gown in the care of my sister and there are a pair of tapestries worked in wool, silk and gold thread in the care of my mother. She also has a school book of Lucy’s dating from her time at Shaw Hill Ladies Boarding school in Lancashire, where she obtained some of her education.

I have the custodianship of the veil and also of a needlework sampler dated in the late 1700’s.


Preservation Australia P/L had just the right presentation box within which the veil will now rest comfortably.